June 4, 2020
Higher ROI due to extended Lifetime
Nitta’s innovative winding belt for paper straw production, the seamless SE-XA-PGG-F, has a greatly extended lifetime and is FDA compliant*, fulfilling the needs of the food and beverage industries.
In May 2019, The Council of the European Union adopted a directive with new restrictions banning single-use plastic products and the industry has until 2021 to implement it in full. With approx. 36.4 billion plastic straws used annually in the EU, over 7 million kilometers of plastic waste is produced which cannot be recycled. The German Ministry for the Environment confirms that plastic straws account for some of the most polluting items in our oceans.
Several possibilities to substitute plastic have been suggested, including renewable materials such as bamboo or straw but these can create other environmental problems and are difficult to standardize. Multiple-use straws for bars and homes, the use of stainless steel or glass as well as edible versions made from pasta are not suitable on an industrial scale.
Due to mass production and advanced automation, the market price for a plastic straw is far below 1 cent. Using alternative materials, means that new production methods will come at a higher cost as the implementation of new processes is limited in development. Once adopted by the market as the alternative to plastic, straws made of paper become a relatively cheap alternative when scale is considered.
Today, most manufacturers produce paper straws using a belt to wind multiple strips of paper around a rod. The major drawback in this process, is the very short lifetime of the belt which can be as little as one day! The downtime of the machine for frequent belt changes results in higher production costs when comparing with plastic. By their nature, straws have small diameters, resulting in increased bending for the belt and high abrasion to the belt surface by the paper. Moreover, the belt must cope with a high load from the stationary rod around which the paper is wound during the process.
Nitta R&D has met these challenges and developed the seamless SE-XA-PGG-F belt ensuring highest performance for paper straw winding. In close co-operation with key OEM machine manufacturers and after rigorous field tests at large end users as well as laboratory testing, our winding belt SE-XA-PGG-F features a unique FDA compliant* rubber cover, manufactured using our seamless SEB technology for a homogenous, joint-free product. This belt is a proven cost saving solution in paper straw manufacturing, reducing maintenance and ensuring that the producer of paper straws gains a competitive advantage.
The outlook for the supply of paper straws is forecasted to increase dramatically by early 2021 and the current capacity in production will fall short to meet those demands. Early adopters of our paper straw winding seamless belt SE-XA-PGG-F will reap the benefits in this emerging market. Contact Nitta directly for all your belting needs.
*The surface rubber meets the extraction limits specified in the FDA 21 CFR177.2600 for rubber articles in contact with aqueous and fatty foodsTags: Extended Lifetime, FDA-rubber, Nittabelts, Paper Straw, Paper Straw Winding, SEB